Iconic writer Toni Morrison will be adding one more distinguished award to an already packed trophy case: Morrison has been chosen by President Obama to be one of this year’s recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Morrison has previously won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize, making her one of the most celebrated writers in American history.
Using her immense gifts of observation, lyrical prose and unsurpassed imagination, Morrison has crafted works that burrowed deep into the African-American experience and have become required reading at high schools and colleges across America and beyond. Her most famous novels include Song of Solomon, Beloved and Jazz.
Morrison, a former Random House editor and currently a professor at Princeton, will be inducted into a class of honorees that includes former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, songwriter and musician Bob Dylan, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the late Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low and NCAA women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt.
“These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our nation,” Obama said in a statement. “They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place. I look forward to recognizing them with this award.”